“SUPERCATS: A MINI-SERIES”

PBS’ Nature takes us inside the world of super cats with a mini-series introducing us to big cats from around the world. Series Executive Producer Fred Kaufman is here with your preview.

Aired on October 22, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> FROM THE SOLITARY SNOW LEOPARD IN THE HIMALAYAS, TO THE CALIFORNIA BOBCAT, 'SUPER CATS' REVEALS HOW BIG AND SMALL WILDCATS SURVIVE AND THRIVE IN ALL FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD.

FILMED IN 16 COUNTRIES AND FEATURING 31 SPECIES OF CATS, THIS GROUND BREAKING SERIES CAPTURES THE SECRET LIVES OF CATS, USING THE LATEST CAMERA TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH.

HERE'S A LOOK.

FROM THE ICONIC BIG CATS TO THE LITTLE KNOWN SMALL CATS, NATURE'S LAND MARK THREE-PART SERIES WILL BRING THESE SUPERSTARS INTO THE LIGHT.

JOIN US FOR 30 EXPEDITION, ACROSS 16 COUNTRIES, TO MEET OVER 30 DIFFERENT CATS.

THIS IS THE ULTIMATE LOOK AT AN AMAZING SUPER FAMILY.

'SUPER CATS,' A NATURE MINI SERIES, PREMIERES ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 24th AT 8:00 P.M. ON PBS.

JOINING US NOW IS THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, FRED KAUFMAN.

FRED, WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU.

FIRST OF ALL, FRED, WHY THE TITLE, WHY 'SUPER CATS' IN

IT'S NOT A SCIENTIFIC TITLE.

BUT WE WERE PICKING UP ON THE WHOLE SUPER HERO POPULARITY THEME, AND AS WE LOOK AT ALL THESE DIFFERENT CATS, WHAT BECAME REALLY APPARENT WERE THESE SUPER ABILITIES, THESE HEIGHTENED BEHAVIORS THAT KIND OF ARE ASTONISHING.

A CHEETAH CAN RUN UP TO 60 MILES AN HOUR.

A MARGAY, WHICH IS A JUNGLE CAT, CAN ROTATE ITS WRIST AND WALK DOWN A TREE.

THEIR LEAPING ABILITY, THEIR ABILITY TO CAMOUFLAGE, THE WAY THEY LISTEN, MOVE THEIR EARS.

ALL SORTS OF BEHAVIOR THAT PUT THEM IN THIS SUPER CATEGORY.

AND THEY'RE MUSCULAR AND GOOD LOOKING.

ANOTHER THING THAT MAKES IT SUPER IS THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ADAPT TO ALMOST ANY ENVIRONMENT, RIGHT?

ARE THERE ANY OTHER CATS -- I MEAN, ANY OTHER MAMMALS AS WIDESPREAD?

CERTAINLY THEY'RE AMONG THE MOST WIDESPREAD OF MAMMALS, THEY'RE IN DESERTS, JUNGLES, CITIES, THE HIGH HIMALAYAS.

THEY'VE ADAPTED TO THE SWAMPS.

THEY LIVE ALL OVER THE CLIMATE.

SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT IN SERIES THAT CAPTURED ME WAS THAT THROUGHOUT, WE GET THIS VERY CLOSE, UP AND PERSONAL VIEW OF SOME CATS THAT HAVEN'T BEEN SEEN FOR YEARS, THAT HAVE ALMOST NEVER BEEN SEEN.

YET YOU CAPTURE THEM AND THEY GO RIGHT AFTER THE CAMERA.

HOW DID THE FILM MAKERS MANAGE TO DO THAT?

WELL, TWO THINGS.

ONE, I'M PROUD OF THE FACT THAT MOST OF THE CATS IN THIS SERIES YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE OR EVEN SEEN.

WHILE THERE ARE LIONS AND TIGERS AND A LEOPARD AND A CHEETAH, A LOT OF THE CATS ARE SMALLER DECISIONS, THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL BUT DEADLY.

MOST OF THEM YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF.

SO THERE'S THAT KIND OF PROFILE OF CATS YOU'VE NEVER EVEN SEEN.

WE'VE SPENT ABOUT 600 FILMING DAYS IN THE FIELD.

THROUGH EXTENSIVE RESEARCH AND BEING ABLE NOW TO HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO SHOOT AT NIGHT, SO WE'RE ABLE TO SPEND MORE TIME AND SEE MORE CATS IN THEIR HABITAT AT THE TIME OF DAY OR EVEN IN THE EVENING WHEN NORMALLY WE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SEE ANYTHING.

ONE OF THE THINGS YOU COVER IN THE SERIES ARE SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS THAT DISCOVER SOMETHING NEW ABOUT CATS THAT WE DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE, OR THAT DISPROVE STUFF THAT WE THOUGHT WE KNEW.

GIVE US SOME EXAMPLES.

UNUSUAL IN THE SENSE THAT ALL OF THE CATS ARE SOLITARY, THEY LIVE BY THEMSELVES.

THE LIONS WE ALWAYS SEE TOGETHER IN A PRIDE.

WHY IS IT THAT THEY'RE TOGETHER?

WE REALLY DON'T KNOW.

WE DID AN EXPERIMENT WHERE WE TESTED THEIR INTELLIGENCE.

WE PUT SOME MEAT BEHIND A DOOR, AND THE LION WAS ABLE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO OPEN THE DOOR AND ACCESS THE MEAT.

BUT THE REAL INTELLIGENCE PART WAS WE TOOK ANOTHER HI ONAND PUT IT IN A CAGE AND ALLOWED IT TO WATCH WHAT THE LION WAS DOING.

AND THE LION PICKED UP ON THE BEHAVIOR AND MOVEMENTS AND WAS ABLE TO ACCESS TO FOOD JUST FROM WATCHING.

AMAZING.

I WAS UTTERLY SURPRISED THAT OF THE 40 KNOWN SPECIES OF CATS THAT EXIST, 33 ARE SMALL CATS.

WE SEE A LOT OF THEM IN THE SERIES.

AND THEY'RE CUTE AS CAN BE, THEY'RE SMALL.

BUT THEY'RE NOT EXACTLY -- FIRST OF ALL, YOU'RE RIGHT.

THERE ARE SMALL CATS AS DEADLY AS THE BIG ONES AND WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE, MANY OF THEM I'VE NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE.

SO I'M PROUD OF THE FACT THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THINGS YOU'VE NEVER EVEN SEEN BEFORE, AND THEY'RE NOT THE USUAL.

BUT I CALL THEM BEAUTIFUL AND YET DEADLY.

THAT'S THE SAME WITH CATS.

AS A PRODUCER, YOU NEVER GO WRONG MAKING A NATURE FILM WITHOUT A CAT.

BECAUSE YOU CAN JUST WATCH THEM, THE COLORATIONS, THE FUR, THE FACES, THEY'RE JUST STUNNING.

THEY'RE ALL BEAUTIFUL.

AND THEY'RE ALL INCREDIBLY WELL ADAPTED, THEY'RE MUSCULAR.

THEY'RE JUST THESE AMAZING ANIMALS AND ALL EQUALLY AS DEADLY.

FRED, THIS IS A BOLD STATEMENT ON MY PART, BUT I THINK THIS SERIES IS ONE OF THE VERY BEST THAT 'NATURE' HAS EVER MADE.

IT'S VERY HIGH QUALITY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, FRED.

'SUPER CATS' WILL AIR NATIONWIDE ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24th THROUGH NOVEMBER 7th AT 8:00 P.M. HERE ON PBS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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